Well, I suppose that I will wrap up this series on what ended up being a Regulative/Normative/Biblical Principle study by giving a few qualifying and summarizing bullets:
**Fight to stay in biblical balance
**Don’t make man’s interpretation the end-all to your application. Learn from man’s teaching but never let it replace your own personal study of the scriptures. That includes what I’ve written here. Only let these blog entries spur you on to get into the Bible for yourself and wrestle through it.
**I’ve probably ticked off both extremes in this series. That’s probably a good thing. If I’m only offending one extreme it may mean that I’m on the other extreme and out of balance.
**Singing in church is in obedience to a command. It’s not an option. But singing is also a joyful privilege and a worshipful honor.
**Just as singing is commanded in scripture so is using instruments. That doesn’t mean that all singing has to be with instruments but to declare instruments as illegal is in direct opposition to scripture.
**Folks who are a capella- and psalms-only proponents have to sing psalms that command the use of instruments. What a contradiction.
**Drama may not be expressly forbidden in scripture but should be handled wisely and kept in a “non-endorsed” category.
**There should be a running list of “Endorsed Means”, “Non-Endorsed Means”, and “Forbidden Means” in your church. For instance, preaching and singing are clearly endorsed by scripture. Drama and video aren’t clearly endorsed nor are they expressly forbidden (at least in correct context). Open speaking in tongues without an interpreter is clearly forbidden (1 Cor. 14:27, 28).
**Imagery should also be handled very carefully in church services. Images of a pre-Revelation Jesus should be avoided. Scripture doesn’t give any depiction of what Jesus looked like in the gospels and I believe that to be intentional.
**Instruments serve singing—not the other way around.
**You can’t see God-honoring ends (that pleases God) without God-sanctioned means. Worship God while in the means and as the end.
**Music in the church must never replace preaching and teaching. In other words, not all sanctioned means are equal. See 1 Cor. 14
**Be careful to look upon those who are still developing in their biblical understanding but still have some blind spots with great humility and grace. Otherwise, you reveal your own short-sightedness and immaturity.
**Treat God’s silence very carefully. Don’t put words in His Mouth.
**There are overarching principles that must guide our dealing with God’s silence. Body edification and love are the two chief principles.
**You can have all of your means in order and still miss God. All of God’s means and ends are about His being treasured in the hearts of men. Exteriors don’t guarantee Interior success.
**Interior good intentions don’t excuse unbiblical exteriors. Obedience is better than sacrifice. (1 Sam. 15:22)
**Unbiblical exteriors may actually be revealing bad intentions. (Rom. 1:16)
**Fight to stay in biblical balance. (Yes, I meant to repeat myself.)